After leaving Fernie, BC I hit the road by myself to drive further north than I have ever gone. I drove along an empty two-lane highway as the sun faded and the sky turned to pastel colors. The scene was set against a backdrop of the massive mountains creating the continental divide to my east. As I moved into the night towards an unknown destination I felt strong. I felt no fear as I travelled alone into a vast territory I had never imagined.
I spent a couple days kayaking with my friends Mitch, Zea, and other new friends deep in the middle of British Columbia. I had reunited with them many times during my time on the road and it was always nice to see familiar faces. Before long, our paths were diverging again and I made another solo trek west towards the Whistler area. I spent a night in the grasslands of central BC after driving down a long dirt road to nowhere. Sometimes it is fun to realize that no one on earth has any idea where you are and no way to find out. I gazed out into the Milky Way a long while before I falling asleep in the dirt.
The next day I completed my drive to Whistler and continued my habit of finding new friends to kayak with. Within a few hours I had found where the local kayakers congregate and had been accepted to camp with them. I thought this journey would be a lonely one, but my expectation couldn’t have been more wrong. I’ve made so many friends and many of them have profoundly changed the way I view the world. However, at a certain point meeting entirely new friend groups every few days gets exhausting and I was missing home. I didn’t let my fatigue stop me from my goals. My adventure was nearing its pinnacle and I wasn’t about to turn back now. In those few days near Whistler I accomplished more than I ever thought I would achieve in my career of kayaking. I paddled with some of the most skilled kayakers in the world on rivers renowned for their quality, danger, and remoteness. I paddled Fear Canyon and the Ashlu Creek with confidence in my abilities as I finished each run with style. It felt like a weight was lifted from my shoulders as I knew the dangerous part of my trip had been completed and I could momentarily bask in my success.
As I drove towards my next adventure I reflected on my journey. Everyone has big dreams of things they want to do later in life. Many people put off their dreams and never end up doing what they really want to. It is an indescribable feeling to be able to live out those dreams in real time. I had a simple, yet bold vision for my summer. I was setting out to wherever the road lead me with intention to connect with as many people as I could, kayak the best whitewater in North America, and discover the wisdom I needed to find where the next phase of my life would lead me. I never thought I would be able to take my vision so far. The vision I created was for myself. Following through on the idea I created has given me a confidence in my power to shape my own life in any way I see fit.. The hardest part is finding out what you want to do and committing to it. Once you learn how you become the master of your own destiny.